Winning the War for Talent


Upon first glance, July 16, 2012 may not seem historically significant. Then again, neither does February 22, 2013.* But in fact, both these dates represent key events in today’s ongoing war for talent. With 12.3 million people out of work it would seem nearly impossible that 34% of employers are struggling to fill critical positions however, this is in fact, the state of hiring in 2013.

Winning this current war for talent requires putting the pieces together, analyzing what brought us to this juncture and how we can work to close the gaps. A few distinguishing factors to consider: rapid advances over the last 20 years have prompted a never-before-seen skills shortage, the expansion of human resource services have changed the way companies approach talent, federal policies – both old and new – influence finances every step of the way and the workplace of the 21st century has become its own case study for sociocultural evolution.

While some analysts predict the talent gap will continue to spread, here’s a look at how to start fighting the good fight now:

  • Embrace technology – While technological trends come and go, there is no denying the inescapable power of IT. Use technology to your benefit, to think outside the box and to track down the ingenues and entrepreneurs out there making the most of their devices.
  • Encourage learning – Don’t discount the value of added learning. Invest in the talent within your organization and encourage boomers and millennials alike to hone their craft. Make use of online learning tools that can foster critical skills such as coding
  • Engage candidates – Implement a more modern approach to interviewing in order to cast a wider net and improve candidate experience. Despite the adage, “beggars can’t be choosers,” the top of the talent pool can and will.
  • Evaluate offerings – While a dollar per drink may seem like a fair enough tip for your local bartender, this does little to offset rising inflation. Take a look at benefits and compensation on an annual basis to determine what talent is after and what internal needs.
  • Embolden employees – Don’t simply manage your workforce, nurture it. Set aside time to review and implement policies that work with the needs of the business and employees, assess individuals, measure progress and recognize value. 

Cast off age-old policies and refresh your approach to sourcing, hiring and retaining talent to help bridge the gaps and stop the war for talent.

*July 16, 2012 marks Marissa Mayer’s appointment as CEO of Yahoo. She is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company and perhaps the most recognizable of the past year. On February 22, 2013, Mayer announced that she was revoking the company’s telecommuting program to foster collaboration and revive the internet giant’s competitive edge.

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